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EASA Part-26 & CS-26 explained in brief

Part-26 / CS-26 are Addi­tional Airworthiness Specifications

Part-26 was imple­mented by Commis­sion Regu­la­tion (EU) 2015/640. The EASA issues certi­fi­ca­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tions and guidance material for addi­tional airworthiness spec­i­fi­ca­tions for oper­a­tions (CS-26). The CS-26 are non-binding tech­nical stan­dards issued by EASA which indicate the means to demon­strate compli­ance with Part-26. The level of the CS is similar to AMC for other regulations.

The EASA issues Easy Access Rules which include the EU require­ment (Part-26), the certi­fi­ca­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tions (CS-26) and the guidance material (GM).

Commis­sion Regu­la­tion (EU) 2015/640 (Part-26) was recently amended by Commis­sion Imple­menting Regu­la­tion (EU) 2022/1254 (19 July 2022) for Large Aero­plane tire pressure moni­toring and Heli­copter ditching and water impact occupant survivability.

What is the reason for the Addi­tional Airworthiness Specifications?

An aircraft design which has already been certi­fied is not required to comply with the updated version of applic­able CSs (e.g. CS-25, CS-27, CS-29) when it is produced or while in service. The EU Commis­sion decided, that to support contin­uing airworthiness and safety improve­ments, compli­ance of such aircraft with addi­tional airworthiness require­ments that were not included in the initial CSs at the time of certi­fi­ca­tion of the design, should be introduced.

Part-26 / CS-26 are applic­able for

(a) oper­a­tors of (large aeroplanes/small helicopters/large helicopters):

(i) aircraft regis­tered in a Member State;
(ii) aircraft regis­tered in a third country and used by an EU operator;

(b) holders of a type-certifi­cate (TC), restricted TC, STC or a change and repair design;

© the appli­cants for a type-certifi­cate or a restricted type-certifi­cate for a turbine-powered large aeroplane […].

Who is respon­sible for the operator?

For the oper­a­tors in most cases the CAMO as the respon­sible organ­i­sa­tion within the operator for the continued airworthiness, and required by Part‑M M.A.302 for amending the aircraft main­te­nance program (AMP) for which Part-26 needs to be considered.

Struc­ture of Part-26 / CS-26

Annex 1 Part-26

  1. Subpart A – General Provisions
  2. Subpart B – Large Aeroplanes
  3. Subpart C – Helicopters
  4. Appendix 1 — List of aero­plane models not subject to certain provi­sions of Annex I (Part-26)


What is regulated?

Some examples of regu­lated topics:

  • Seats, berths, safety belts, and harnesses
  • Emer­gency exits (loca­tions, access, markings)
  • Fire protec­tion and usage of halon in fire extinguishers
  • Tire pressure
  • Corro­sion preven­tion and control programme (CPCP)
  • Under­water emer­gency exits (offshore helicopters)
  • Emer­gency equip­ment for flight over water (offshore helicopters)

History / Background

Some of the require­ments were existing also before intro­duc­tion of the EASA as JAR-26. “Addi­tional Airworthiness Require­ments for Oper­a­tions”, were issued by the Joint Aviation Author­i­ties (JAA) on 13 July 1998. Outside EASA world The FAA Part 26 contains similar topics but is applic­able to design holders only

How to show compliance?

Compli­ance is in general shown by means of a compli­ance list.

TC/STC-Holders or holders of change/repair design approval shall make avail­able to each known operator of the aircraft any changes to the ICA (“Instruc­tions for Continued Airworthiness”) required to demon­strate compliance.

The EASA provides guidance in GM2 26.1 “Demon­stra­tion of compliance”:

“For the initial issue of Part-26, which is a trans­po­si­tion of existing JAR-26 require­ments, the oper­a­tors will be respon­sible for showing compli­ance. In most cases this can be done by refer­ring to the certi­fi­ca­tion basis of the aircraft or the approved changes in which the amend­ment level of the certi­fi­ca­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion will indicate compliance. […]

In the rare case where the above possi­bil­i­ties are not suffi­cient, showing compli­ance by the operator directly to the NAA will be diffi­cult. They will need to involve the design approval holder of the aircraft or the approved change as relevant. This design approval holder should then apply to the EASA for certi­fi­ca­tion that the design complies with the relevant CS-26 or CS-25 para­graph, special condi­tion or equiv­a­lent safety case. With that approval infor­ma­tion the operator can show compli­ance to the NAA.“

2022-11-08, Karsten Palt, KaPAirCo Airworthiness Consulting